Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department has extended the duration of LRI’s solid waste permit. The Health Department made the change to align with new state regulations. The municipal landfill near Graham is located at 30919 Meridian Street E.
The duration of the permit will change from a 10-year permit to the remaining operational phase of the landfill, which is projected to be another 25 to 35 years. Pierce County’s population growth, economic activity and the success of recycling and diversion programs affect this projection.
“We looked at the compliance history of the facility and evaluated the public comments,” said Andy Comstock, Environmental Health program manager. “We determined that an annual review of the facility’s solid waste permit is an effective strategy to ensure compliance with environmental health and safety practices.”
In addition, Comstock said that discontinuing the time-consuming 10-year reissuance process will save an estimated $35,000 in staff time and materials cost at the Health Department. The State Department of Ecology estimates it will save approximately $10,000 in staff time. LRI estimates that it spends $75,000 to prepare for the 10-year reissuance, an expense that passes to solid waste customers.
The permit modification is the result of changes in state solid waste regulations, which the Tacoma-Pierce County Board of Health adopted in July 2014. It will not affect operations, environmental monitoring or other conditions of the LRI Landfill permit. The Health Department will continue to perform formal permit reviews each year and update the permit’s conditions as needed.
Public Comment Response Summary
Members of the public expressed concerns and opinions during the 30-day comment period last summer. The Health Department prepared a Responsiveness Summary to the comments raised. You can view it at www.tpchd.org/lri.
“Several commenters expressed concern that changing the permit renewal process would take away the public’s ability to voice concerns about landfill operations,” said Comstock. “As we do with any public health concern, the Health Department will continue to respond to inquiries and will investigate any complaints about landfill conditions or operations.”